Recorded in England in a number of spellings including Vanee, Vanie, Van Ee, Van Ne, Vanniez, and the modern forms of Vaney and Vany, this is a very interesting surname which is probably of French occupational origins. It is most definately of Huguenot protestant refugee status, but such was the vaguaries of English spelling particularly in the 17th century, and particularly where foreign surnames are concerned, that the actual original name is open to conjecture. From some of the recordings particularly those such as: Isaac Van Ee, also recorded as Isaac Van Ne, and the probable originator of this name, found in the registers of the French Huguenot church known as St Jean, Threadneedle Street, in the city of London, on February 16th 1634, the name almost appears to be Dutch. However this is almost certainly not so. The Netherlands was for centuries before this date, a protestant country, and had been much earlier than Britain. Later on October 20th 1695, we have the recording of Jacques and Jeanne Vanniez, whose son Jacques was christened at the same church. This spelling suggests that the original name was Vannier or possibly Vanoye. Both have a similar meaning of a carter or travelling salesman, one who used a small two wheeled cart called a 'van'. By the mid 18th century almost all trace of the continental origin has been lost. In 1739 we have the recording of Anna Maria Vaney, who married Robert Mason at St Stephens church in the city of London, on June 2nd. Thereafter the spelling alternates between Vany and Vaney to the present times.
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